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Morning markets: crops revive after 'end to storm'

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Most farm commodities looked for a bright end to the week, helped by hopes that their recent rough spell was over - although some disagreement remained about the important US weather factor.

Crops have appeared to consolidate a touch following steep falls earlier in the month, which sent wheat more than 20% below a June 1 peak.

The exception is palm oil, which remained near two-month lows as the data showing rising Malaysian output and waning shipments continued to concern investors, in the absence of major moves in external markets.

"Players go back to our own fundamentals - export and production," a trader in Kuala Lumpur told Reuters, the news agency.

"The whole talk is about higher production and less exports."

Bursa Malaysia's benchmark September palm oil contract lost 4 ringgit to 2,295 ringgit a tonne in the morning session.

Soybeans gain

Chicago grains, however, did better, with soybeans, the market's long-running sweetheart, keeping their noses ahead of the pack. Well, old crop beans anyway.

The July contract stood 8.75 cents higher at $12.22 ¼ a bushel at 06:30 GMT, sprinting ahead of new crop contracts. November beans, for instance, were only 1.5 cents higher at $10.45 a bushel.

Soybeans continue to be supported by data showing stocks heading for a 32-year low, with Thursday's positive export statistics helping too.

'Bullish story not over'

"I just think the correction is over and it's time for soybeans to move upward as the bullish story is not over," Paul McKay, a director with Commodity Broking Services in Australia, said.

"Exports are great news if you are bullish on soybeans."

The dispute is over weather, with some investors looking at the glass half-full – brighter weather ahead in key planting areas – and others at the glass half empty - recent rains which have slowed plantings thus far.

Mr McKay was in the half-empty camp: "If they are still planting, obviously the new crop is going to be delayed and there is going to be more pressure on the old crop."

Sweeter wheat

In wheat, meanwhile, the topic of discussion was the progress of the US harvest, which is in its opening chapter in Kansas – America's top wheat-growing state.

The weather has been favourable – hot and dry. However, yields are reported as soft, and below 30 bushels an acre in some areas.

July wheat ticked 4.25 cents higher to $5.64 ½ a bushel, pulling up corn also, which added 2.25 cents to $4.05 ½ a bushel.

Bad week for Tokyo shares

On external markets, the dollar was a touch stronger, but remained around $1.39 against the euro.

Oil edged $0.27 higher to $71.64 a barrel for New York's July contract, helped by the first positive close for Wall Street shares in four days.

Tokyo's Nikkei share index added 0.9% on Friday, posting its biggest weekly fall in there months nonetheless.

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